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Sunday, June 10, 2012

All Bemused, All the Time


Every now and then, I take a look at something and think to myself, now how in the world did we live without this?

This is quickly followed by the regret I feel in not having kept a spreadsheet of these discoveries and when they occurred. Just, as my father would say, for hysterical porpoises.

Mary knows the kind of discoveries I’m talking about.

“You know those tweezers you got me for my birthday?”

“You mean the glass ones with the accompanying glass nail file?”

She squints at me as if to size me up. “Heeeeey.  How many tweezers you givin’ away, anyway?”

We laugh. A pact has been in place for a number of years now wherein we have agreed, under penalty of a good dope-slap to the forehead, to watch each other for stray facial hairs. It was quite a solemn occasion, that day we swore that neither one of us would walk around with chin hairs if the other could help it. I still get misty, thinking about it.

Oddly enough, the tweezers had nothing to do with that pledge but were simply part of a two-for-one package with a glass nail file.

And you just don’t know just how fantastic a glass nail file is until you’ve tried one.

“Well the tweezers are one of the greatest discoveries ever. Really grabs on to them hairs. I just can’t get over it.”

“Can’t remember how you lived without them, can you?”

She laughs. “Like the first time you had cilantro. Remember that?”

“Who could forget?”

Mary steps into the kitchen and lights a cigarette. She’s done this since I quit: lights up in the other room, has two hits, puts it out. There’s a clear line of sight from one room to the other, and I watch as she exhales toward the ceiling. My mouth waters slightly.

“I don’t know if you’re ready for this, so I’m just going to lay it out for you.”

“Sock it to me,” I say.

“I was at this garage sale last summer, held in some old guy’s garage. You know the kind: has his tools outlined on the pegboard, has a gas can marked “lawn mower” and another one labeled “snow blower”.

I nod. Mary and I are both admirers of this kind of man.

“Well over there in the corner, affixed under the shelves, he’s nailed in baby food jar lids!” Mary shakes her head grinning, grinds out her cigarette. “They’re hanging there, full of tiny screws and washers and whatnot, see? All you have to do is unscrew the jar itself and the lid stays affixed to the shelf! How cool is that?”

T-Bone, the Labrador of Unquestioned Sincerity, lays his head in my lap.

“Mary,” I say, “That’s almost as good as cilantro.”

She fingers her cigarette pack, decides against another one. “But not quite as good as the rock salt poured into pantyhose and thrown onto the roof,” she says.

The room goes momentarily silent as we both consider the truth in what she’s just said.

Because there are very few things that are as cool as salt-filled, roof-bound pantyhose.



* For those of you in the warmer climes, a pantyhose leg filled with rock salt and launched, somehow, up onto your roof helps to melt ice dams, the glacier-like formations that a season of almost 80 inches of snow creates. A small, untreated dam can pull your gutters off, but a large one can break through your roof.

46 comments:

Sioux said...

It's so heartwarming to hear that Pearl has at least one flaw (the occasional facial hair).

Thanks. ;)

Joanne said...

Where were you two winters ago? I would have bought panty hose to have avoided replacing a window and part of the living room ceiling. And buying ice melting cable for the roof. Hysterical porpoises not recorded soon enough.

TexWisGirl said...

whew! thanks for explaining that!

Vicus Scurra said...

All this talk of pantyhose does little for the blood pressure of your more elderly readers.

fmcgmccllc said...

Now I gotta buy cheap pantyhose because it is similar to my hypochondria, prolly misspelled, if I don't do this my roof will cave in.

vanilla said...

Now see, pantyhose on the roof is just another reason for not living in the wastelands of the North.

Carrie Lynne said...

I get misty eyed with the plucking.

Ms Sparrow said...

I never heard of the rock-salt panty hose thing before. One hitch though, I haven't worn panty hose in years. I wonder if Unique sells used ones?

terlee said...

My husband used to be the chin hair monitor. Now on my own, I fear some days I might resemble Cap'n Jack Sparrow.

Lucky you have Mary...

Hannah Denski said...

Ha! There, you live and learn something new every day! : )

Diane said...

I love in Canada! How did I not know this? Where's my pantyhose???!

Cheryl said...

Pearl, are you the only person in the world reading The Zone? My Kindle doesn't show a single review. I'm gonna trust you and you alone on this one.

Got two glass nail files. I agree, they're the best. How about going into the import/export business for nail files?

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Well, of course I know about pantyhose and rock salt. But glass nail files? That's a new one on me. And I love, love, love the guy who nailed the jar lids to the wall, though I don't expect we'll do that any time soon. Another lovely post.

Symdaddy said...

Could you imagine what Pearl and Mary with beards would look like?

And ...

They must me VERY BIG pantihose to melt the snow on a WHOLE roof!

According to the Free Online Dictionary:
Pantihose = US
Pantyhose = English

jenny_o said...

Porpoises aren't the only ones to be hysterical around here :)

And, I think you need certain taste buds for cilantro.

And, I too live in Canada and never heard about the pantihose/rocksalt snow melters. Thanks for that!

Simply Suthern said...

Hysterical snowblowing porpoises wearing pantyhose? Did I read that wrong?

My grandfather had a large wooden drum mounted horizontally on rollers with baby food jars full of screws attached. You just roll it to the row you want and remove the jar.

Daisy said...

where are my pantyhose? I gotta try this!
Daisy's Barbara

Lo said...

Oh, hell.......wouldn't you know it.......I finally hear of a use for all those old pantyhose I haven't worn in years but am still saving, and I don't have any snow on the f,,,ing roof.

Dr Max Tunguska said...

Never realised the trouble heavy snow and ice can cause. Strangely my father had a line of jars screwed to the shelf above. Awesome. I suspect I was kept on baby food until my 10th birthday just to provide him with enough jars.

It is a bit of a revelation reading a blog with real people which talks about events that actually happened.

esbboston said...

I discovered a facial hair on my forehead the other day that I think should have qualified me to be a unicorn. Sad. On the top of your nose is bad enough, that would make you a rhinoceros. But now a unicorn, again, sad.

Leenie said...

Oh, man! First I have to save my pantyhose to chop up and use as ties (tie them to the poles, not to wear for formal occasions) for my tomatoes in the summer; and now I have to have more to fill with rock salt to toss on the roof in the winter. I don't know if I can stand wearing and wearing out that many brown leggings.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! I only have the vaguest memories of pantihose filled with anything. But damn you, now I'm trying to remember. Indigo x

Eva Gallant said...

I have to try that panty hose rock salt thing if I'm still living here next winter!

Gigi said...

They say necessity is the mother of invention - which is the only way I can figure that someone actually thought of throwing old pantyhose filled with salt up on the roof.

Now I'm imagining all the roofs come springtime covered in pantyhose.

sage said...

I have seen some hysterical porpoises and now I am just waiting for winter to try that rock salt trick... Until then, I'll use the rock salt to make ice cream.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

So this post is about tweezers and facial hair right or maybe it is about salt-filled pantyhose why on earth would someone want to wear pantyhose that has salt in it.....lol

Ok Jo-Anne go back and read that again because I am sure Pearl isn't wearing pantyhose with salt in them or for that matter doing so sitting on a rooftop........lol while plucking her facial hair.....
lol there is something wrong with me this morning lets play it on the cold or the rain or the Tony awards........lol

HermanTurnip said...

I was momentarily at a loss, until I read the addendum. Thanks for the explanation. Had I not read that, the question of the rock salt filled pantyhose would have haunted me for many days...

bill lisleman said...

I don't get my panties in a bunch but I do know of the rock salt trick. I have never needed to use it. My dad had a few baby jars nailed but I'm more of a coffee can kind of guy.

Roshni said...

I wish I had a pact with some one about MY facial hair!!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I'd never heard of the panty hose thingie...course, we don't usually get THAT much snow.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl,I'm going to outline my tools on the pegboard and label my gas cans immediately. ":)

Tempo said...

You're serious...you actually put salt on your roof deliberately? We have to collect every drop of water for drinking and would never consider putting salt on our tin roofs. I couldn't believe you'd put salt on the roads because that would obviously kill your cars...but you do! (sick bastards)

Crystal Pistol said...

The whole salt on the roof thing feels like fiction.

But I'm from AZ so who am I to say.

I need to try them there glass files you were speaking of...

Roly Clu said...

No snow or ice here and I have a beard but I too have bottle lids nailed to a board under my shelf. Cool post :)

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I like the idea of glass tweezers, but I draw the line at snow-filled pantyhose... there's something intrinsically wrong with that idea...almost verging on the extreme/erotic.

Roses said...

Don't talk to me about facial hair. Tweezers just aren't up to the job. I need full-on wax or nasty hair-removal cream. Ugh.

But many thanks for the idea of pantyhose stuffed with rock salt. Given the climate change which is happening round here, it's definitely worth knowing.

I don't have a garage...if I did, I would so use the baby jar trick. Awesome stuff.

River said...

Now I have to go searchng for glass nail files. Never seen any.

Linda O'Connell said...

I've stuffed a large butt into a size medium pantyhose, but I like the rock salt idea better. Hope you are getting your life situated.

NotesFromAbroad said...

There is something about Mary ....

I never knew about rock salt and the roof. I am now overwhelmed with questions about what I don't know regarding living somewhere very cold and snowy for part of the year.

I had a glass nail file. I dropped it on the bathroom floor.. we won't discuss the glass splinters they leave behind.

I admit to seeing the baby food jar trick and I agree, there are some people who just know Things. Things that I doubt I will ever figure out.
This is why I will go live in the countryside and probably freeze my butt off our first winter there. Love you, love Mary.

Meeling said...

Lol!

I grew up in Canada, yet I did not know about the pantyhose trick - gosh how that would have saved my replacing the gutters more than once! ;-)

Mandy_Fish said...

I've got to try that pantyhose thing.

Rene Foran said...

You should market the pantyhose thing as "Dam Sox"

Suzy said...

I found a long hair growing out of my ELBOW. I nearly fainted from the horror.

Glass tweezers is a new one on me. I'll have to look for them although I've always used Tweezerman's.

NellieVaughn said...

A glass nail file? I think you are pulling my leg with that one.

Nothing will ever be as good as cilantro. Avocados try, bless their pits, but they don't come close.

The Elephant's Child said...

I'm with River. I have never seen or heard of glass nail files/tweezers. You have got me very interested in them though.
Panty hose (filled with salt or not) are not needed here.

lime said...

you've just taken me back to my grandfather's basement workshop. yes, the shadowboards (outlined tools on pegboards) and even the babyfood jar lids screwed in on the underside of shelves. thanks.